Links between social networks and quality of life: An epidemiologically representative study of psychotic patients in South London

Section of Community Psychiatry (PRiSM), Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 2.54). 08/1998; 33(7):229-304. DOI: 10.1007/s001270050058
Source: PubMed


Quality of life has been found to be associated with social networks in patients with psychiatric disorders. We aimed to determine whether quality of life was related to social network size in group of severely mentally ill subjects living in the community. In a population-based, prospective controlled study of two sector mental health teams in South London, a random sample of representative 1-year prevalent cases of non-organic psychosis was identified. Patients were interviewed at baseline, and associations between quality of life and social network size were analyzed cross-sectionally. For average quality of life there was increase up to a certain level of social network size (about 20 social contacts). For the quality of life subscore on social relations there appeared to be an optimal middle level of network size (10-12), with lower subscores for smaller and larger networks. Multivariate analysis confirmed the associations between quality of life and social network size. In analyses of network subgroups the importance of confiding contacts was underlined.

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    • " both the quantity and quality of social support after the analysed conferences had increased . Although our study lacks causal relationships , on the bases of evidence from other studies , it is plausible that an increase in social support after the conferences positively affected resilience of clients and improved their quality of life ( e . g . Becker et al . , 1998 ; Lim et al . , 2014 ; Panayiotou & Karekla , 2013 ; Strine , Chapman , Baluz , & Mokdad , 2008 ; Sündermann , Onwumere , Kane , Morgan , & Kuipers , 2014 ) as well as in neighbourhoods that formerly were characterised by a lack of social contact and residential instability ( e . g . Drukker & Van Os , 2003 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: Family Group Conferencing (FGC) is a decision-making model where clients with their social network formulate their own plan. There is little experience with FGC in mental health care. We studied the outcomes of 41 conferences in a public mental health setting in the north of the Netherlands. We interviewed 312 respondents out of a total of 473 conference participants. In 33 cases, it was possible to obtain scores from 245 respondents on scales ranging from 0 to 10 about the situation prior and after the conference on three outcome measures, namely the quality of: (1) social support, (2) resilience and (3) living conditions. In the 33 cases, t-tests and multilevel analyses indicate on all of the three outcomes measures significant positive changes after the conferences. On average, the scores on the quality of social support (5.04–6.73), resilience (4.09–6.32) and the living conditions (3.73–6.64) had been increased since the conferences were organised. The results are modest but remarkable. That the impact of FGC is not more substantial can be explained. The clients referred to a conference in this particular study, mostly had a limited network and few recourses from whom little support could be expected.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · European Journal of Social Work
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    • "In general, retirement, mobility-impairment, increased isolation, death of loved ones and kin-separation due to globalization may cause loneliness in ageing societies. Furthermore, research has found a number of health risks associated with loneliness and social isolation including high mortality risks, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, cognitive deterioration and depression (Becker et al., 1998; Stafford et al., 2011; Steptoe et al., 2013). However, epidemiological research suggests that strong social ties play a critical role in enhancing the elderly's psychological and physiological well-being (Umberson and Montez, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: This position paper describes a smart-phone based activity recognition system for improving social connect-edness between caregivers and their elderly relatives. Sensing technologies can enable real-time monitoring to provide activity recognition in order to support health and safety among the elderly who are living independently. However, most existing activity recognition systems are focused on using sensors for unidirectional monitoring of emergency cases in particular, fall detection. Motivated by the desire to utilize bidirectional activity recognition to improve connectedness between an ageing population and their caregivers, we describe our planned approach to investigate how the perception of a caregiver's activities by a senior citizen and vice versa can aid in improving social connectedness. To investigate this perception, activity states will be transformed into an information visualization into the caregiver's home and vice versa without overt communication from participants. Findings are expected to provide further insight on the extent to which perception of human activities increase social connectedness.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jan 2015
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    • "(see among others Becker et al. 1998, Strine et al. 2008, Panayiotou & Karekla 2013, S€ undermann et al. 2013), it is plausible that FGC has potency to create conditions for the social embedding of clients with severe mental health problems . In this article we describe a case on the struggles of residents of a local neighbourhood living together with an ACT-client with schizophrenia. "
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    ABSTRACT: To understand whether and how Family Group Conferencing might contribute to the social embedding of clients with mental illness. Ensuring the social integration of psychiatric clients is a key aspect of community mental health nursing. Family Group Conferencing has potency to create conditions for clients' social embedding and subsequently can prevent coercive measures. A naturalistic qualitative case study on the process of one conference that was part of 41 conferences that had been organized and studied from January 2011-September 2013 in a public mental health care setting in the north of the Netherlands. Semi-structured interviews (N = 20) were conducted with four stakeholder groups (N = 13) involved in a conference on liveability problems in a local neighbourhood wherein a man with schizophrenia resides. To prevent an involuntary admission to a psychiatric ward of a man with schizophrenia, neighbourhood residents requested a family group conference between themselves, the sister of the man and the mental health organization. As a possible conference aggravated psychotic problems, it was decided to organize it without the client. Nine months after the conference, liveability problems in the neighbourhood had been reduced and coercive measures adverted. The conference strengthened the community and resulted in a plan countering liveability problems. The case indicates that social embedding of clients with severe psychiatric problems can be strengthened by Family Group Conferencing and that hence coercive measures can be prevented. A shift is required from working with the individual client to a community driven approach.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Advanced Nursing
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